From the stunning temples to the traditional floating markets and ultra-modern metropolitan districts Bangkok is packed solid of amazing things to do. This 4 day Bangkok itinerary covers a little bit of everything that the capital of ‘the land of smiles’ has to offer.
I’ve visited Thailand on two separate trips, both times spending some time at the start and end of my trip in Bangkok city. There is so much to do in Bangkok that its overwhelming to know where to start.
So what you’ll find in this article is a nicely condensed version of all the must-see places along with some of my favourite bits in a handy Bangkok in 4 days guide.
This is the perfect guide for giving you a little bit of everything that Bangkok has to offer.
Disclosure: Some of the links below might be affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you , if you click one of them, I may receive a small commission (for which I am deeply grateful) but it helps me create more awsome stuff like this post.
Your 4 Day Bangkok Itinerary – In Brief
Day 1– The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Khao San Road
Day 2 – Wat Pho, Wat Arun Chao Praya River Cruise and a Thai Massage
Day 3 – Lumpini Park, Wat Saket, China Town, Little India and the Flower Market
Day 4 – Floating Markets, Bangkok National Museum or Jim Thompson House, Sky Bar
Alternate suggestion – Day trip out of Bangkok and visit the UNESCO listed ancient ruins of Ayutthaya.
Your Perfect 4 Days in Bangkok Itinerary – The Details
Day 1 - The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Khao San Road
The Grand Palace
The first of your 4 days in Bangkok itinerary will be spent visiting the most iconic places in the city. You’ll be starting off at The Grand Palace, the former residence of the King of Thailand. Of all the stunning temples in Bangkok, The Grand Palace is the biggest tourist attraction, therefore, The Grand Palace does get busy, so aim to be here early before the coaches get in.
Be sure to be dressed appropriately for visiting the Grand Palace and Temples. For both men and women, this means:
- No shoulders or mid-drifts on show (also no very low cut tops or open shirts)
- Shorts, skirts and dresses should be below the knees
- No sheer or see-through clothing
If you’re wearing a vest top and shorts, there will be local shops in the area which will sell you an
overpriced sarong to cover up while you are in there. Alternatively, you can often rent sarongs at the entrance gate.
The Grand Palace is situated in perfectly manicured grounds. You can go inside some of the buildings, although a lot of the main palace is closed to the public. The Grand Palace is adjacent to the next temple and your entry ticket covers both sites. The most visually stunning of the buildings is Chakri Mahaprasat, the Grand Palace Hall.
While you are in The Grand Palace grounds, there are a few museums and exhibitions that are certainly worth a visit. For pure opulence, I highly recommend the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textile to see the stunning outfits from the Royal household. Another exhibit worth a look is the slightly dated looking Vimanmek Mansion Museum. The museum does look a little on the tired side, however, inside there are loads of architectural relics salvaged from various renovations of The Grand Palace. The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are some of the most instagrammable places in Bangkok.
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of The Emerald Buddha)
Wat Phra Kaew is viewed as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew, or officially named Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram aka Temple of the Emerald Buddha is opulent!
You can’t miss the giant Yakshas ominously guarding the gateways into the Wat Phra Kaew. These are the gigantic blue coloured soldiers in gold armour standing to the side of each entrance.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is so-called because of the meditating Emerald Buddha carved from a single block of green jade in the Ordination Hall. The Buddha wears a gold and diamond-encrusted cloak. This temple is the most sacred site and place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from all over the world.
To do both sites properly, The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, will take a few hours.
Useful Informaton about The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew Opening Hours: 8:30 am – 3.30 pm – 7 days a week
Entry Fee for The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha): 500 Thai Bhat (approx. $16.50)
How to get to The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha: The closest public transport is the water taxi. Take the Chao Phraya Express Boat and get off at Tha Chang Pier (N9).
Alternatively, the nearest Metro station is Sanam Chai and less than ten-minute walk north.
Khao San Road
If you’re visiting Bangkok, it would be sacrilege to not spend an evening at Khao San Road on any 4 day Bangkok itinerary. As the sun sets, Khao San Road comes alive. Khao San Road has become a bit of an establishment in its own right. Yes, it’s very much on the tacky-tourist side, but one of those things that have to be experienced and a must for any visit to Bangkok.
True, it’s loud, it’s hectic and overpriced but it’s worth a visit, just once to say to people, ‘been there, done that’ and most likely you will also have bought the t-shirt too!
The Khao San strip has expanded to more than just one road, so after walking up and down the main street, head down some of the adjacent streets for a more mellow scene. You won’t go hungry here either, there are plenty of street vendors selling noodles (Pad Thai is the national dish of Thailand by the way), curries, fresh juices, sweet dishes (you NEED to try the banana roti or mango sticky rice #drooling) ….and errrr bugs!
Day 2 - Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Chao Praya River Cruise and a Thai Massage
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
This was my favourite temple in Bangkok, it’s also the largest and oldest of the temples in the capital. This is the largest reclining Buddha statue in Bangkok measuring 46 meters long and 15 meters high. Not only is Wat Pho famous for its giant reclining Buddha, but it also boasts a collection of beautiful golden Buddha’s, 394 to be exact!
This temple is super cool not only for the giant reclining Buddha, (more on that in a moment) but for the super cute resident cats which live in the grounds here. You’ll see the fuzzy felines lounging everywhere, in the courtyards, steps and trees.
The giant reclining Buddha is found in the north-west corner of the site. Depending what time of day, you visit, expect a queue and a snail-like pace as you walk through the hall. To dodge the crowds, visit either very early in the day or late in the afternoon.
Useful Informaton about Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 6.30 pm – 7 days a week
Entry Fee for Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha): 200Thai Bhat (approx. $6.60)
How to get to Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha): This temple is pretty much next door to The Grand Palace, so you’ll be heading in the same direction as on the first day of the 4 day Bangkok itinerary.
The closest public transport is the water taxi. Take the Chao Phraya Express Boat and get off at Tha Chang Pier (N9). The nearest Metro station is Sanam Chai and less than ten-minute walk north.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Built in the Khmer style that you can see at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Wat Arun sits on the bank of the Chao Phraya River.
The largest of the prangs sitting at 86 meters high is covered with intricate carvings representing Mount Meru which, in Buddhist cosmology, is the centre of the world. This large prang is surrounded by smaller prangs and various sculptures. You can climb up a section of it, and although steep, it’s worth it for the views looking out over the river.
Wat Arun gets it name from the Indian God of Dawn; Aruna. Don’t be deceived by the name, this temple looks fabulous morning, noon and night.
Useful Informaton about Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) Opening Hours: 8:30 am – 5.30 pm – 7 days a week
Entry Fee for Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn): 100 Thai Bhat (approx. $3.30)
How to get to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn): It’s a short walk from Wat Pho to the ferry dock. Wat Arun is located on ‘the other side’ of the river, a quick and easy boat ride from Chao Phraya Express Boat Dock makes it super easy to access as well as giving ample photo opportunities. The short trip across the river costs a mere 4 baht ($0.13)!
Chao Praya River Cruise
The Chao Phaya River is the largest river in Thailand which runs right through Bangkok. Historically the main route for transportation in and out of the city for goods from all over the world. The river is just important today as it ever was. So after all the walking you’ve been doing over the last 2 days, you’ll get to sit back, relax and see the city from a different perspective.
You could buy a hop-on-hop-off ticket for the smaller ferry’s if you want to stop off at various points along the way, or alternatively, for a bit of R&R, book onto a dinner cruise. There are a variety of Cruises available, but one of the better ones to go on are the sunset and night time cruises to see the temples illuminated.
Thai Massage or Spa Treatment
I couldn’t give you a 4 days in Bangkok itinerary and miss out on a genuine Thai massage. There will be no shortage of places in finding a massage – they are literally on every corner!
If you head back to Khao San Road, there will be plenty of cheap-and-cheerful places to experience a Thai Massage and some pampering sessions.
For a much more luxurious experience then check out LAAN Spa in Bangkok
Depending what time, you organise your cruise for, simply switch the itinerary around.
Day 3 – Lumpini Park, Wat Saket, China Town, Little India and the Flower Market
So, we’re three days into your 4 day Bangkok itinerary, today make an early morning start at Lumpini Park – if you can manage an early start. Daily early morning fitness classes happen here, often you see the city’s elders enjoying Tai Chi. Lumpini Park is a haven amongst the bustle of the city, check out the giant lizards wandering about. It’s also the oldest and largest green space in the centre of Bangkok.
The park has a giant although artificial lake you can hire paddleboats for and plenty of walk-ways and tracks meandering around the foliage, so if the early morning Tai Chi classes aren’t your thing then why not go for a jog, cycle or stroll in the fresh air before heading back to your accommodation to freshen up and a well-earned breakfast before heading back out for the day.
Wat Saket (Phu Khao Thong or the Golden Mount)
It’s better to visit Wat Saket before the sun gets too strong. The reason, despite it being called ‘the golden mount’, most of it is actually white. Because it’s white, it just reflects all the sunlight which hits it – squint alert!
From the top of Wat Saket, you’ll get stunning panoramic views of Bangkok. The golden temple sits at the top of the 79m / 318 stepped spiral staircase, go inside the temple and then climb up to the roof of the temple for an even more impressive view.
Useful Informaton about Wat Saket (The Golden Mount)
Wat Saket Opening Hours: 7:00 am – 7:30 pm – 7 days a week
Entry Fee for Wat Saket: 50Bhat (approx. $1.65). The ticket office is at the bottom of the mount.
China Town & Little India
Situated in one of the oldest parts of the city, in the Samphanthawong District of Bangkok, you’ll find the centre of Bangkok’s China Town. China Town in Bangkok is the largest in the world. A stone’s throw from China Town is Little India along Phahurat Road.
After visiting Lumpini Park and Wat Saket earlier in the day, you won’t be able to resist the delicious smells coming from the abundance of food stalls around here. After dark head to Yaowarat Road where you’ll find some of the best street-food in the city.
Getting to China Town: The easiest way to get to the heart of Chinatown is to take the MRT subway to the Hua Lamphong stop. It’s just a short walk from here.
Pak Khlong Flower Market
Even if you aren’t big into flowers, it’s certainly worthwhile visiting the Pak Khlong Flower Market. This has been considered one of the world’s largest markets of its kind with streets lined with colourful and fragrant flowers.
You’ve probably noticed the importance of flowers are in Thai culture, you’ll find them as decorations, offerings to Buddha’s as well as in food. Flowers are big business here.
Getting to the Flower Market: The flower market is located north side of the river, the nearest ferry terminal is Yodpiman. From here it’s a short walk to Pak Khlong Talad 2, the building where the Flower Market is located.
Day 4 – Floating Markets, Bangkok National Museum or Jim Thompson House, Sky Bar
No 4 day Bangkok itinerary would be complete without visiting one of the iconic floating markets to see the traditional longtail boats laden with goods. The most famous of them is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, which is located outside of the main city in Ratchaburi Province. It’s easy enough to get to, and tours will pick up from your hotel. To make the most of it, it’ll be an early start. Because it’s the most popular of the floating markets if you get there any time after 10 then it can get insanely touristy.
If you don’t fancy the early start to get out to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market before the crowds, then there are loads of alternate options which are a) not as touristy and b) closer, so you’ll have a more relaxed morning.
Not all of the markets are open 7 days a week, so take this into account before heading out to them. Go with an empty stomach as there is always tons of food for sale. Check out the map below to see where the floating markets in Bangkok are.
Bangkok National Museum or Jim Thompson House
After spending the morning going around the markets, then head over to some of the world-class museums in Bangkok. Some of the notable ones are;
- Bangkok National Museum – The first national museum in Thailand, which is home to an extensive collection of Thai arts and artefacts. There are three museums located inside this one building here.
- Jim Thompson House Museum – Jim Thompson has been dubbed the ‘Thai Silk King’ due to his efforts in saving the diminishing silk industry in Thailand during the 60s. The Jim Thompson House museum consists of his six traditional teak houses in the middle of Bangkok which were left behind after his mysterious disappearance in the Malaysian jungle.
- Bangkokian Museum – A lesser-known museum in Khet Bang Rak. It consists of a 1930s perfectly preserved home, the décor is left just as it was 100 years ago and gives a nostalgic insight into the middle-class Thai living.
To end your 4 days in Bangkok, head up to one of the rooftop bars for a cocktail while looking out at the panoramic views of the city. This is the perfect way to end your 4 day Bangkok itinerary. Some of the best sky bars to head to are;
- The Speakeasy, Hotel Muse – Not the highest rooftop bar in Bangkok, but certainly one of the more stylish. The décor is based on the 1920s prohibition era, with jazz music playing the background.
- The Roof Top Bar, Baiyoke Sky Hotel – This is currently the highest sky bar in Bangkok. Located on the 83rd floor. The rooftop bar boasts a rotating observation deck at the top!
- Cloud 47 Rooftop Bar and Bistro, United Center – One of the more affordable rooftop bars is Cloud 47. It’s also centrally located with no dress code, so just show up, order a drink and enjoy the views.
- Lebua at State Tower, Silom Road – This bar is located on the second tallest building in Bangkok on the 64th floor but it still names claim to be the highest open-air bar in the world! It’s also the bar that featured in The Hangover II.
Day Trip from Bangkok – UNESCO Ancient Ruins of Ayutthaya
One alternate option for your 4 day Bangkok itinerary is to head out the city for one day. If Bangkok is getting a bit too hectic and you want to escape the craziness of the city, then why not take a day trip out from Bangkok and see the stunning ancient ruins at Ayutthaya. At only 80km north of the capital, the ancient Kingdom of Siam is the perfect day trip.
This is where you’ll find the iconic Buddha head entwined in the Bodhi fig tree along with other crumbling ruins and relics from these beautiful ancient ruins. Not convinced, check out these awesome photos.
You can either book a tour with a pick up directly from your hotel, these options above are ideal if you want all the hassle taken out of doing this. Alternatively, you can take a trip to Ayutthaya independently and catch a train directly to Ayutthaya from Bangkok main station.
Read more about visiting Ayutthaya.
Where to stay in Bangkok
With no shortage of accommodation options, it can be tough deciding where to stay – I’ve listed three amazing options for every type of budget.
Looking for luxury accommodation? Then the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn will tick all your boxes.
Not only is it conveniently connected by its own Sky Bridge to Surasak BTS Skytrain, the hotel also features an outdoor infinity-edge pool, well-equipped fitness centre and 3 dining options are available on site. Naturally, free WiFi is offered at this hotel.
The hotel is located in the centre of Bangkok, so it’s easy to get to all the top attractions.
Rooms are fresh and modern, with personal tea and coffee making facilities, a safe and free toiletries.
You can check out a ton of other things this great hotel has to offer along with photos and reviews here.
Prefer something homelier on midrange budget? then Green Teak House is a great option.
Set in a Traditional Thai house this bed and breakfast is a cosy option for those wanting a more authentic feel of Thai hospitality. With raving reviews and its central location it’s a great choice for exploring Bangkok.
Rooms are equipped with air-con, flat-screen TV and there is Wi-Fi throughout he property.
Check out availability and the top class reviews here.
Looking for budget accommodation? then I highly recommend the Bed Station Hostel as a number one choice. I’ve come back to this place time and time again.
As hostels goes, this certainly ranks more as a boutique hostel. The décor is super hip with ample space for socialising and meeting other travellers, I spent hours in the bean bagged area on the mezzanine floor chatting to people.
Rooms are spacious with decent sized beds, a privacy curtain private light and power socket plus lockers big enough to fit a large backpack. They even have powerful hot showers! It’s close to the BTS Skytrain station and has Wi-Fi throughout the hostel. Another nice touch is the 24hour FREE coffee, tea and biscuits in the foyer.
Take a look at the photos and read the reviews to just see how awesome this place is by clicking here.
Getting Around Bangkok
The easiest way to get around Bangkok are using public transport, the Metro, BTS and boat taxis make getting about super easy. They are also really cheap and a set price.
Alternatively, tuk-tuks and taxis are in abundance but watch out for being scammed with an insanely overinflated fare. Check with your accommodation how much a journey should cost in advance and don’t agree to a journey without either the fare being confirmed before the journey starts or asking to have a metered fare – often the taxi driver will say that the meter is conveniently ‘broken’ if this is the case just find another taxi.
How to get to Bangkok from the airport?
The easiest and cheapest way to get to Bangkok from the airport is via the BTS.
If you're travelling around Thailand, then check out these other useful articles.
- The Ultimate 10 Day Thailand Itinerary – 4 awesome ways to experience 10 Days in Thailand
- Visiting the Ruins of the Ayutthaya Temples – The Ancient Kingdom of Siam, Thailand
- Stunning Murals & Beautiful Street Art in Phuket Old Town, Thailand
- The 5 Best Temples in Bangkok – Self-Guided Bangkok Temple Tour
- Beautiful Photos of Ayutthaya – The Ancient Kingdom of Siam [Photo Tour]
Final thoughts on this 4 day Bangkok itinerary
This guide will hopefully cover all the best bits that Bangkok has to offer. This 4-day itinerary for Bangkok is far from exhaustive and there is enough to do in this lively city for several weeks!
Depending when you visit the city, it’s also worthwhile checking out what local festivals are on (ask your accommodation for the heads up on this!), with so many festivals all year round, chances are some type of celebration will be happening somewhere in the city and you might be lucky enough to catch musicians, dancers and ceremonies at the temples or in various districts throughout the city.
Bangkok is one of my favourite cities in South East Asia, and despite having already spent quite a bit of time in this exciting and full-on city. I would go back in an instant.
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Have you visited Bangkok and did you do all these things? Or are you planning your first-time visit? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.